Naturalist Night: Coastal Prairies

California’s Coastal Prairies are a rare and incredibly biodiverse habitat found in Santa Cruz, and the most species-rich grassland type in North America. Despite its rarity and species-richness, this is a habitat-type at risk of continued range loss due to development, fire suppression, invasive plants, and other factors. During this interactive class we will explore these threats to this habitat type, as well as what makes coastal prairies unique, including the geology of coastal terraces, notable species, and ecological factors that have impacted the habitat type over millennia, including cultural burning by indigenous communities.

We are also excited to have a special guest join us this time! Justin Luong is a Ph.D. researcher in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz, currently focused on grassland restoration in California, and will share his research regarding potential impacts on coastal prairies due to climate change and drought.

About the series: Join fellow nature enthusiasts for monthly explorations of the biodiversity of Santa Cruz County. Each month, our Public Programs Manager Marisa Gomez will share the stories of a specific Santa Cruz habitat as we develop our skills as naturalists.

This series will feature a presentation as well as an interactive session and is in partnership with Santa Cruz Public Libraries. Come prepared to share and to learn alongside naturalists deep in their journey and just starting out.

Watch other Naturalist Nights